2021 Conference Dates

There are a maximum of three possible weeks in which the 2021 Chamber Music Conference could take place at Bennington College based on the information we have at this time: July 18 - 25, July 25 - August 1, and August 1 - 8. We will determine which of these weeks are viable when we receive applications indicating availability.

We understand that it's very difficult not to know in which weeks the Conference will take place, but there is too much uncertainty about enrollment and pandemic-related conditions to be able to definitively specify at this time.

Important: In general, applicants will be admitted to only one week, but the more weeks you can possibly attend, the greater your chances of being accepted to one.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

Our safety precautions were determined after consultation with experts in the fields of infectious disease, airborne viral spread, and occupational health and safety.

It is important that all 2021 Conference applicants read the list of precautions carefully so that you understand fully and are applying with a complete awareness of what to expect of us and what we expect of you. The only way we can have an in-person Conference in 2021 is if all attendees comply with the precautions that are stated here, regardless of your personal level of concern.

It is possible that additional precautions or cancellation of the Conference may become necessary if conditions worsen between now and the start of the Conference. We do not anticipate relaxing these requirements. If we make any changes to the precautions as specified here we will notify all attendees prior to the Conference.

Submitting an Application

Because of our shortened planning timeline, this year we are only accepting applications online using the CMC Participant Online Application Form.

New Applicants

Welcome! Please use the CMC Participant Online Application Form to initiate the New Applicant process. Note that, given the uncertainties and later timeline for 2021, we might not be able to complete the New Applicant process for this summer’s Conference, but we will try.

To enjoy the Conference experience fully, you should be able to play your instrument(s) skillfully, have good sight-reading ability, and have some chamber music experience.

To facilitate appropriate assignment in coached groups with players of similar playing level and experience, we ask for musician references, and new applicants audition virtually.

In addition to submitting your CMC Participant Online Application Form, please email Executive Director, Susie Ikeda ( with the following information:

Nonplaying Guests

In order to manage a reduced population density on campus, we are not certain that we can include non-playing guests this year, but if you wish to bring a non-playing guest with you, each guest must personally complete a CMC Guest Online Application Form in order to provide information that we require of all attendees.

Fees and Payment

Weekly Fees for Participants – $1530. Includes tuition, room and board, free playing, use of all facilities, and admission to all concerts and parties.

Auditors – There will be no auditors in 2021.

Weekly Fees for Nonplaying Guests (if we are able to have them): $700. Includes room and board and admission to all concerts and parties.

Deposit Payments – $150 per person, to be paid online using the CMC Payment Form. Both the online deposit payment and the completed online application form must be received for an application to be processed. Because of uncertainty related to this year’s Conference, we are asking that you pay only the $150 deposit now. Please do not pay the full weekly fee with your application.

Balance Payments – After you are admitted, the deposit is applied to your fees and the balance will be due by May 31.

Method of Payment – Because of the shortened administrative timeline, we are asking that all fee payments be submitted using the online CMC Payment Form.

Refund Policy – The deposit will be fully refunded if you are not admitted, or if you withdraw before you are admitted. Otherwise the deposit is nonrefundable. If you withdraw after May 31, your payment will be partially refunded (less $500 per week, including deposit). If a guest is unable to come, the corresponding payment will be applied to the participant’s fee.


This is the timeline for the 2021 Chamber Music Conference application process.

May 9: Application deadline for all applicants to receive first priority consideration for space in the program. After this date, participant applications received for spaces already filled will be automatically put on a participant waiting list.

May 9: Deadline for submitting requests related to your coaching assignments. Note that this year we are requiring that requests be submitted at the same time as applications.

Around May 22: Admission letters will be sent.

May 31: Your payment balance is due.

Financial Aid

Financial aid, made possible in part by donations to the Financial Aid Fund, is available to support participants who are unable to pay the full fee. Financial aid is awarded based on need – both the participant's need for support and the Conference's need for particular players. If you are requesting financial aid, provide details in your CMC Participant Online Application Form.


If you are a prospective applicant with a disability that may require accommodation to enable participation at the Conference, please note this when you apply or contact us at to inquire.


If you are new to the Conference and would like to learn more from an experienced participant, please send an e-mail message (optionally including your phone number) to One of our long-time participants will contact you and answer your questions or otherwise assist you.

All other inquiries should be directed to Susie Ikeda, our Executive Director, at or 617-447-1808.

The Chamber Music Conference and Composers’ Forum of the East, Inc.
Tobias Werner, Music Director
Donald Crockett, Senior Composer-in-Residence
Susie Ikeda, Executive Director

617-447-1808 |
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